Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
Chop cranberries in half. This is done easiest when the cranberries are frozen.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, eggs, milk, oil, applesauce, orange zest and vanilla.
Stir in flour mixture, just until combined - do not overmix.
Fold in cranberries and chocolate chips - do not overmix.
Spoon batter into greased or paper lined muffin cups.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.